Revelation 8:1 - When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Because there was no preceding silence for the first six seals, I question why there was silence for the seventh one. Did it have something to do with the extreme magnitude of the seal's content, or was it for dramatic effect? Perhaps another factor could be considered.
As Revelation 8:4 indicates, there were "prayers of the saints" rising before God, just as the pictures above show. It is believed by some that this half hour silence in heaven was to allow the prayers of the saints to be recognized. Notice that sound did not resume until after the prayers were offered. Although the angels were given their trumpets before the incense began, they did not sound them until after the prayers rose to God. Only after the incense is burned and the angel fills the censer with fire and throws it on the earth does sound resume with "peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake." However, this theory is unstable because the John doesn't imply that the prayers were being offered while the silence was occurring but that they occurred after the silence was already over.

Perhaps all of heaven was silent in terror. All of heaven understood that the last seal was the most severe judgment of God on the world, and, realizing this, heaven became silent because of the magnitude of this judgment. However, at the same time, heaven was silent in admiration. As is noted a few chapters later, no matter what the judgment, God is just: "'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments'" (16:7). The angels admired that God could carry out such a horrific judgment justly. This also served as a sort of climax of worship. Heaven had been unceasingly praising God by singing, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty" (4:8), but when the seventh seal was opened, heaven had to be silent because it was in such awe of God. Although John doesn't specifically state the manner of the silence, this idea seems plausible because, after all, this judgment is terribly disturbing and the fact that it can be carried out justly is admirable.

Agreeing with the previous two points, a third source adds another speculation: the silence was for suspense. This is a very suspenseful moment, especially since the sixth seal prepared readers to expect a climactic end to the seals. Because readers know that there are only seven seals, it's not necessarily the opening of the seventh seal that caused the silence, but rather the mystery of what will happen after the seal is read.

In the end, I think it is a combination of theories 2 and 3. Not only was heaven terrified by the content of the seal and in admiration of God's just judgment, but readers were also put in the middle of an extremely suspenseful moment.
2/6/2017 05:25:26 am

During the half an hour silence the Rapture of the Church on Earth takes place!


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